I have never read Othello.

At least not fully. This was part of one of the final classes in college I had to take before I finished the literature part of my creative writing minor (software engineering major). We were supposed to read Othello throughout the class, but I stopped around Act III when it stopped making sense and relied on the SparkNotes version to get me through. Which it did. I wasn't real picky about what I chose so this was it. Suprisingly, not as much time was spent discussing Othello as it was spent discussing issues and themes in Othello, such as racism, love, violence, black magic, and deception, done through other works of the period. Shakespeare's play was dissected in detail from the first lines of Iago to somewhere in Act IV (we didn't finish in time, like most classes). As class ended, I realized how some of the same themes were present in the Mega Man X universe humans vs. reploids, paranoia over the Maverick virus, friendship and betrayal, especially in times of war. I decided to try and hybridize stories as an experiment, something I've only done once before.

During the planning stages, I ran through several possible concepts. Of course, the obvious route would be yaoi have Zero and Mega Man X in love. I didn't do this for two reasons. 1. I don't like yaoi, it's overdone and unjustified (especially in the Mega Man universe) and I couldn't write it if I tried. 2. It was too obvious. I might as well write the full text of the play and cut and paste X and Zero's names in there. The next idea was to have Zero fall in love with a human. With this, I was planning to play the racism card as in Othello regarding humans and reploids in romantic relationships and its consequences. This was declined, as the idea of X betraying Zero was more emotionally potent and also more fitting and original. New original characters were created to fill the roles of the antagonists, something I try to avoid doing to prevent being accused of creating Mary Sues. It was originally intended as a gaiden side story, not really taking place in any particular scenario, semi-alternate universe but the elements that I ended up including made it perfect to put after Mega Man X4.

As far as the final result, I'm happy the quality produced enough motivation in me to finish, but I don't think hybridizing stories is something I would try again. It's more difficult than it looks to force characters into pre-planned situations using different elements. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Shakespeare's plays, I don't think I was able to scratch under the surface of the characters' motivations enough to justify them to the conclusion that is wrought. But in any case, I hope you enjoyed reading. Here are a few more interesting tidbits.


"A place for everything and everything in its place" in Act III, Scene 4 is also the first line in the 20 page final research project in my Othello class.


I made the stabbing of a human particularly bloody as a homage to Shakespearean violence, which movies like Kill Bill and From Dusk Till Dawn have got nothing on (Don't believe me? Read Titus Andronicus).


Janus' speech about those who question his motives was partly taken from my final essay test in Othello class, the question for which was "What makes Iago a villain? Is he the villain of this play? What are his motives? Does he have any?"


In Act III, Scene 4, the extraneous "don't go there" is a reference to The Simpsons, as well as the "yeeeeees?"


August 10, the day mentioned in Mega Man X's photo, is my fiancee's birthday.


Janus original name was Setalin, just for the sound of it. Other possible names included Amsham, Plato, Trech, Crafti, and Fibonacci. Janus was chosen because of a reference in the original Othello, which is a reference to a god of Greece (look it up).


Strike Fox is made up, and Capcom is free to cop it (and likely to do so) for one of they're future reploids, once they've run out of vegetables (Spirit Mushroom? Tornado Tonion?). Straylight is a name based (stolen) from William Gibson's Neuromancer.


The crack team of reploids Dr. Cain mentions in Act II, Scene 2 are, of course, Signas, Douglas, Lifesaver, and Alia, who are constants in nearly all Mega Man X games after Mega Man X4.


Duplex's other possible names included Mabell, Source, Grade, Reglan, Task, Logo, Logic, SequeL, Sector, Mux, Protocol, and Asky. Duplex was chosen because it sounds like the word 'dupe'.


The line in Act I, Scene 1 about the underground being plentiful and economic is gleaned from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which Willy Wonka explains why his factory slopes downward.


The guard scene in Act III, Scene 4 is an obvious nod to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. They're meant to represent comic relief at this point in the play by a clown, which I always thought was out of place in both this work and his.


In the same scene, the taupe paneling is a reference to Ocean's Eleven, where the Brad Pitt character tells his theory to the George Clooney as to why "hallways are always painted that color".


In Act IV, Scene 2, Cain says "People used them like napkins, wiping their mouths and then throwing them away." This is a reference to the original Othello, where Cassio uses Desdemona's napkin/scarf like a handkerchief, wiping his mouth and throwing it on the floor.


Lina's comment about the Mavericks preference for taking over power plants in Act II, Scene 1, is a not-so-subtle jibe at the fact that in Mega Man X games, Mavericks always seem to take over a power plant. This is also seen in the argument between scientists in Act I, Scene 3.


Tyro was originally named Bear. He was renamed so as not to confuse him with one of the animalistic reploid mavericks X often faces and to make him more rookie-like, as Tyro means "someone new to a field or activity".


Janus uses a Personal Electronic Terminal in Act III, Scene 2. Personal Electronic Terminal = P.E.T. = Mega Man: Battle Network.


In Act V, Scene 2, when Cain says "You were like a brother to him", that is an allusion to the similarities between Zero and Protoman.


Janus' quote about suspicion being the 'black dog' in Act III, Scene 3 is a reference to Cowboy Bebop, one of my favorite animes.


For those who don't know, Doc Robots were used in the Mega Man Classic universe, particularly in Mega Man III. They were those skull-ish robots with big shoulders who took on the attack patterns of robot masters from Mega Man II.


The line in Act III about X hating to be idle comes from my Introduction to Computer Science class, in which one of the principles was "never let the CPU be idle".


Some of the robots Zero meets in the training center are similar to what he'll end up facing in the Mega Man Zero series.


Several times during both ZerOthello and Othello, people wish to see 'ocular proof', most notably Othello/Zero. The odd thing is, neither one receives actual proof that can be seen.


The reference at the beginning of Act 3, Scene 3 regarding the SP model of the holographic emitter is an obvious cutting reference to the Game Boy Advance.

Janus' login screen is similar to the startup screen in Mega Man X.